Natures Mortes

Michael Cook

26 Mar - 1 May 2021

A central tableau is beautifully lit to expose choreographed arrangements of plants, animals, objects and food. Grounded in a photographic aesthetic that echoes Dutch Old Master paintings, they examine the industry and practices that have so effectively brought damage to traditional Aboriginal culture, the natural environment of the Australian continent – and the globe. Each image explores an aspect of the devastating impact of colonisation on Australia’s First Nations peoples, and the global repercussions of environmental degradation.

The translation of the French in the title of this series, “Natures mortes” is dead nature. Yet in the simmering emotional register of each image lies an inherent belief in the individual over environment, and the redemptive nature of culture.

Michael Cook